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I had Altar Guild duty this morning.  As one of three men on the Guild, and the sole male on this morning's crew, I thought it interesting I was assigned vestments.  I'm flattered really.  It involves a lot of ironing of albs for the clergy, and today it felt like clergy build-up.  I prepared two albs for the Rector: one for a blessing of a civil marriage later today, and then another for tomorrow's services.  Then albs for the assistant Rector, the missioner priest working with our La Gracia (Hispanic) congregation, and two other associate priests in the parish who assist with services.  That's twice as many albs as we'd normally ready.  Then sorting through everything else, straightening up cottas in the acolyte closet.  Afterward calls for setting up the St. John's Chapel for the La Gracia service.  And finally vacuuming the sacristy.  Oooops, I just realized I forgot to empty all the trash baskets!! 

While it sounds like a lot, it's really not.  And doing vestments, you're normally tucked away from the larger crowd working the brass, sliver, flowers and sanctuary.  They're actually right there and then they're not because you're off in a separate part of the sacristy, slaving over a hot iron.  I like the non-thinking that accompanies caring for clergy vestments.  I iron well enough, and I care about how our priests look and feel when they serve God and his people of Grace at our altars.  Sometimes it has a meditative feel to it.  Certainly when I'm able to go upstairs to the St. John's Chapel to set the altar and credence there, it feels serene.  Then back to use the noisy vacuum to finish up the sacristy.  While its noisy, it has a contemplative feel to it as well.

I like being a member of our Altar Guild.  The "handling and readying of holy things for thy altar" is easy service which is devoutly offered by all who say 'yes'.